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Go to Top Many Muntjac Use the Bridge

Posted: 12 September 2022

While opening the bedroom curtains one day last week I saw, for the first, time a Muntjac deer crossing the bridge to the island. Last month I had encountered a female with its young on the island. So, this week, the wildlife camera was set up to see how often they and, perhaps, others animals used the bridge to reach the island.

When I checked the card in the camera I was surprised to find that it had been triggered 134 times in the week, but once I had scanned quickly through the clips it was to discover that a good proportion were of pigeons, although there were a number with moorhen too, particularly juveniles. However, that left more than 50 clips showing Muntjac crossing the bridge, so here's a sample.

Go to Top Sunday - 0:00

Within an hour of setting up the camera late on Sunday afternoon, at 19:06 the camera is triggered by an adult female crossing to the island. that turns out to be a little curious as the return trip, captured at 19:32 after the camera had switched to infrared mode, shows a return trip with a youngster in tow.

Go to Top Monday - 0:50

On Monday morning at 06:15 the camera is triggered by what appears to be a juvenile crossing to the island, but moisture on the camera lens makes the image too blurry to be worth including here. At 13:59 the camera is triggered again and we see that clip at 0:50 into the video, followed by the return, captured at 14:24. On the return she is again accompanied by a juvenile. All told, on Monday, the camera was triggered seven times by Muntjac deer, but it appears that the muntjac did not always trigger the camera so the total of crossings could have been greater.

Go to Top Tuesday - 1:28

On Tuesday the camera was triggered a dozen times. At 1:28 we start a sequence captured between 18:56 and 19:02. The is a long delay between the two deer crossing to the island so a good part of that wait has been deleted from what you see here.

Go to Top Wednesday - 2:55

Wednesday's captures start at 2:55 into the video and include a sequence showing juvenile Moorhens but before that, captured between 13:23 and 13:29 a sequence showing two Muntjac crossing but three returning a few minutes later. The first deer to cross appears to be suffering a limp. Could it be that this is the same animal that was captured crossing the bridge from the Poor's Allotment in Late May?

The start of the return sequence is interesting in that the first deer is already on the point of leaving the bridge, suggesting that if it had run just a little bit faster the camera might not have reacted to its approach in time to capture it and the white spots on the right of its neck suggest it is the same animal that was seen yesterday. As soon as it moves out of frame a mother and young appear at the island end of the bridge and proceed to cross towards the camera.

The sequence covering the juvenile moorhens starts at 4:23 and occurred between 13:59 and 14:02. I am always amused by young moorhen as they seem to have disproportionately large feet, and, surprisingly for a bird that is aquatic, they are not webbed.

Go to Top Thursday - 6:47

Thursday only provided four clips of Muntjac and starting at 6:47 we see the two evening captures made at 19:30 and 19:40. The first appears to show the lame Muntjac again crossing to the island. A younger animal follows 10 minutes later. It also appears somewhat cautious in the way it moves.

Go to Top Friday - 7:24

We start Friday, at 7:24, with one of the ten clips obtained. This is the first, captured at 00:27 and the first after the camera was triggered for the Thursday evening clip just seen. It's hard to believe it can be one of the Muntjac that crossed the bridge five hours earlier! We also see a clip caught at 16:09. What makes it interesting is that we see that there are not just white spots on its neck but they appear to form a full "necklace". Its slowness, and what appears to be another stumble as it nears the camera, could also suggest that it is the "lame" example that keeps being caught by the camera.

Go to Top Saturday - 8:04

We complete our week's collection with a pair of clips taken from the seven events that triggered the camera on Saturday. These were captured at 18:48 and 18:51 and I would assume show the same animal crossing, then returning over the bridge. The camera is staying at this location for another week. It will be interesting to see if we capture any more creatures next week.

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